Sarah Forshaw KC, described by an independent FT journalist as the ‘criminal barrister of choice if you can get her’, has maintained an impressive and diverse practice since taking Silk. She is frequently instructed to represent high profile individuals charged under the Sexual Offences Act and her track record marks her out as a leader in this field.
Her skill and experience in cases involving historic sexual allegations are legendary. They include the successful defence of publicist Max Clifford against a second round of allegations from the 1970's, of a doctor accused of sexual assault on patients and of a high-profile businessman alleged to have engaged in sex with a minor. In 2019 she was instructed to defend a music producer charged with the historic rape and sexual assault of two young complainants. He was unanimously acquitted of all counts. Sarah is a contributor to "Current Practice in Forensic Medicine" [Vol 3] in particular in relation to Disclosure of evidence in sexual assault cases.
She has built a formidable reputation at the Central Criminal Court, having defended in over 50 Old Bailey murder trials. Notable successes include the defence of one of 19 boys on trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of a 15 year old schoolboy at Victoria station and of a 17 year old boy charged with a double murder in Leytonstone in a drug related gang attack. She is often sought out for young defendants in joint enterprise killings, and was involved in the recent post "Jogee" appeals of Johnson and others. More recently, she represented the first defendant in the Jodie Chesney murder. Her client was unanimously acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
In cases of Fraud and Financial crime, she is frequently instructed to defend professional clients in the most complex and demanding cases. A firm believer that the best advocates undertake both prosecution and defence work, Miss Forshaw secured convictions for the Serious Fraud Office against all defendants in a long-running £80 million PONZI fraud. Sarah also recently successfully argued for the dismissal of all charges against her client in Operation Lunar, a multi-million Tax fraud using capital loss relief, that had been listed for several months in 2018.
General Crime experience has included the successful prosecution of the "Fake Sheikh", Mazher Mahmood, for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and successfully defending the only individual acquitted in a multi-handed international conspiracy to import £5m of cocaine from South America. She has been described as ‘silky smooth’ in court and ‘a class advocate…brief, eloquent, with a dash of theatre’.
Alongside her criminal practice, Sarah is often instructed to appear before regulatory bodies, primarily for members of the medical profession. Recent cases before the General Medical Council include the successful reinstatement of a doctor accused and subsequently cleared of raping a nurse, and the trial at GMC (following acquittals in the Crown Court) of another doctor against whom a young patient had made allegations of numerous sexual assaults, all of which were found not proven by the GMC. Sarah Forshaw KC was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2008 and quickly established a formidable practice in Silk. She was appointed co-Head of Chambers in 2009 and from 2012-2014 was Leader of the South Eastern Circuit (the largest of the six geographical Circuits of the Bar of England and Wales). She was nominated for Crime silk of the Year 2014 by Chambers & Partners and is a band 1 silk in the current edition as well as being Tier one in the Legal 500.
Fees for regulatory and all private criminal work are agreed by the Senior Clerk.
"Sarah has jurors eating out of the palm of her hand. She has a great style: she's very determined and will fight her corner in a charming, non-abrasive manner." Chambers UK 2024
She is an outstanding silk with a complete mastery of the details of a case. She is a big gun to bring out to blast prosecution cases out of the water. Sarah is a master tactician, an expert in the persuasion of a jury, and terrier like in her pursuit of disclosure. Legal 500 2024
"A fabulous advocate and one of the very best KCs in the business." Chambers UK 2023
' Sarah is a master on her in feet in the courtroom and commands the attention of all in her presence due to her skilled advocacy.’ Legal 500 2023
"She is completely dedicated to her cases and will fight to the death for her client." Chambers UK 2022
"She is an outstanding jury advocate whom it's very hard to best." Chambers UK 2021
“Sarah is a real force to be reckoned with, and hugely respected in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal." Chambers UK 2020
"Her refusal to back down is one of her greatest attributes. She is extremely dedicated and hard-working, which instils great confidence in her clients and solicitors alike.” Chambers UK 2020
‘She excels in serious sexual offence cases and the disclosure issues that arise during them. ’ Legal 500 2020
‘Her key strength is her very engaging advocacy style – juries and judges are rapt.’ Legal 500 - 2019
"An excellent jury advocate who makes clients feel at ease." "She is a very hard-working and accomplished advocate in whom clients have faith." Chambers UK 2019
"Brilliant. An amazing advocate who's comfortable with the clients, takes an uncompromising approach to case presentation and develops a very good rapport with the jury." Chambers UK 2018
"She's a silk who reads every piece of paper. She's demanding on those she works with and she's got great client rapport. Juries love her." Chambers UK 2017
' ...Forshaw oozes class, her elegant delivery gave her the edge...I could think of no one I would rather have representing me...' Financial Times